WordPress.com is great. It’s free, easy to use, and anyone can sign up for a site in no time flat.
But it has its drawbacks.
This is what you see on a normal, self-hosted wordpress installation, one that is NOT hosted on wordpress.com. You have the wonderful freedom and flexibility to upload your own customized themes, themes you find for free on the web, or that you purchase from just about anywhere.
This, on the other hand, is what you see on wordpress.com.
You can’t upload that theme you’ve found on Creative Market or across the interwebs that you just love. In fact, the only real options that you have are to purchase a premium theme for $75 bucks or use one of wordpress.com’s free themes.
So what to do? Let’s go over how to graduate from wordpress.com and get your own self-hosted site. Here are the options:
1. Move to wordpress.org via Guided Transfer ($129 fee via wordpress.com).
2. Purchase a custom domain and hosting from BlueHost, HostGator, or another hosting provider. (Domains typically run $10/year, hosting runs anywhere from $6.97 on up a month for a year commitment.)
Hosting is essentially just a place to park your website and domain online. It is very easy to set up a self-hosted WordPress installation with BlueHost, our preferred provider. Here is a short video that walks you through setting up WordPress with them.
And here is how to import your old posts and site content from your wordpress.com site to your new, shiny, self-hosted WordPress installation. Easy Peasy.
But again, if you’d rather shove the whole task of setting up your domain with WordPress, Bluehost are our go-to guys. They have live chat, are super helpful, and can get you up and running in no time!